TX vs. CA

Unemployment Line - DepressionFeb. 12, 2013

By John Seiler

I’ve been to Texas two times. In the summer of 1969 I was 14 and my family took a trip from Michigan to the Southern states. We had been West, including to California in 1964.

I remember the Lone Star weather was hot and humid, but not too bad. We played miniature golf in Dallas. In Houston, we went to the Astrodome and watched an Astros baseball game. I kept the ticket for a long time but lost it. In Houston, we also saw where the Apollo 11 astronauts were being kept in quarantine.

The second time was in 1979 when I was in the U.S. Army. I was sent to Goodfellow Air Force Base in San Angelo in West Texas from around May 5 to July 20 to learn to intercept Russian radio messages. It was hideously hot and hideously humid, especially because the base was mostly concrete. We sat on our barracks porch drinking beer and watching the thunderstorms roll in from the West.

So I sympathize with Gov. Jerry Brown when he said, in response to the taunting of Texas Gov. Rick Perry for businesses to move to the Lone Star State, “A lot of these Texans, they come here, they don’t go back. Who would want to spend their summers in 110-degree heat inside some kind of a fossil-fueled air conditioner? Not a smart way to go.”

True.

Jobless

But: How about if you need a job? Brown is the son of privilege. His father was governor. He inherited millions. He doesn’t know what it’s like to wonder where your next paycheck is going to come from — how you’re going to feed your kids.

When I got out of the Army on Feb. 16, 1982, almost 31 years ago, I went back to my home state of Michigan. Unemployment was 16 percent. I drove my old 1970 Buick LeSabre around for weeks looking for a job. Nothing. Unemployment above 15 percent is considered depression-level.

Eventually, I got an internship at the National Journalism Center in Washington, D.C. and got back into the writing business. I never returned to Michigan except to visit, even though the weather there is better than in D.C., which is a swamp, and the living was a lot cheaper. In 1987, the Orange County Register hired me and I came to California.

You go where the jobs are, regardless of the weather. Currently in California, Fresno — which doesn’t have that great weather being inland — has 13.5 percent unemployment. Los Angeles has 10.9 percent. San Bernardino has 14.8 percent. In Oakland, where Brown was mayor for eight years, it’s 12.9 percent.

By contrast, San Angelo has 4.6 percent. Houston has 4.9 percent. Dallas has 6.3 percent.

The weather only takes you so far, which is why people live in Alaska.

Unless you have a cushy government job like Brown, you go where the jobs are.

6 comments

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  1. jimmydeeoc
    jimmydeeoc 12 February, 2013, 10:12

    Fresno — which doesn’t have that great weather being inland — has 13.5 percent unemployment.

    —— Which is why I noted several days ago that the Fresno Bee is the last newspaper this side of Kabul that should be taking swipes at Texas.

    And honestly…..weather is a bit overrated. Unless you’re a lineman for the county, driving the main road, you’re inside on weekdays anyhow.

    Reply this comment
  2. us citizen
    us citizen 12 February, 2013, 16:53

    Hey maybe some of our illegals will leave……….

    Reply this comment
  3. Ftheunions
    Ftheunions 12 February, 2013, 21:25

    Gov. Clown clearly realizes the dire economic condition California finds itself in if his best is a weak attempt at discrediting Texas by touting its hot summers. What truly speaks to his and his cohorts’ record is the fact that Californians are moving to Texas despite its hot summers. Sure didn’t hear the Clown speak of the great business climate and opportunities found here in California.

    Reply this comment
  4. stevefromsacto
    stevefromsacto 13 February, 2013, 16:09

    Right John, move where the low-wage jobs, lousy educational system, putrid weather, outrageous sales and property taxes are. LOL.

    Here’s a nice commentary about your hero, Governor Perry. http://t.co/ZNHH4vj1

    Reply this comment
  5. CalWatchdog
    CalWatchdog Author 13 February, 2013, 16:56

    StevefromSacto: Rick Perry isn’t my hero, he’s yours. My hero is another Texan, Ron Paul.

    As to jobs, apparently you didn’t notice the numbers in my article: High unemployment in CA, low in TX. So even if the jobs are better in CA — a dubious notion at best — if you can’t get one, they you leave for where the jobs are: TX. Have you ever been unemployed? After a while, you don’t care where you go just so you can get a paycheck.

    Sales taxes actually are higher in CA. Property tax rates are higher in TX. But because property itself in TX is 1/3 the cost of property in CA, the total cost of property in TX still is a lot less. In any case, in 26 years in CA I never have been able to afford to buy a home. They’re too expensive and my taxes are too high.

    As to education, the public schools are horrid everywhere: just brainwashing factories. If I had kids, they would go to private schools or be home-schooled — no matter where I lived.

    No question about the weather being better here, though.

    — John Seiler

    Reply this comment
  6. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 13 February, 2013, 19:06

    In any case, in 26 years in CA I never have been able to afford to buy a home. They’re too expensive and my taxes are too high.
    ==
    That’s because you work in the private sector, everyone in trougher land can buy a home.

    Picked a jury a month ago, and 75% of the 60 potential jurors had worked for the gov, or had a reltive working for the gov, some had their entire family working for the gov, it was literally shocking at how many depeneded on gov for compensation.

    Reply this comment

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